9 New Things That You Might Not Know

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Branching out  

At this point in the school year, you might feel like you’re locked into your routines. You know what works best for you, but it’s always good to shake things up a bit. This week, try something new like joining a photowalk, learning about careers in the arts community or even entering a lip sync battle. You won’t know how excellent you are until you try!

1. Rhodes Scholar info session

March 21, noon – 1 p.m.
Galbraith Building, Room 244

Learn about the support U of T offers to compete for the international award to study at the University of Oxford.

2. HealthyU: Spring Thaw

March 21, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Varsity Arena
MoveU is hosting its last skating event of the school year. Open to all U of T students – no experience required.

3. Grad Escape: Trivia night

March 21, 7 – 9 p.m.
Graduate Students’ Union
Come as a group or join a new trivia team to meet other grads and take a break from studying. There are great prizes to be won!

4. Open mic & lip sync battle

March 21, 6 – 9 p.m.
The Cat’s Eye
Check out this LGBTQ-focused event and enjoy poetry, singing, dancing and more. Come to perform or to support your talented friends!

5. Choosing your program

March 22, 4 – 6 p.m.
Student Success Centre

Discuss enrollment and completion requirements as you learn how to select and when to apply for programs that suit you best.

6. Hart House: ArtWORK

March 23, noon – 5 p.m.
Hart House, Debates Room
Connect with Toronto’s leading arts professionals and discover the array of career opportunities found within Toronto’s artistic communities.

7. Thriving on campus survey

On now – April 30
Participate in a survey that seeks to understand the experiences, well-being and academic development of LGBTQ2S+ university students in Ontario.

8. Photowalk at Riverdale Farm

March 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Meet at 201 Winchester Street at Sumach
Riverdale Farm is a municipally-operated farm in the heart of Cabbagetown. Bring your camera to enjoy a fun representation of rural farms in Ontario.

9. How hospitable is Canada? 

March 26, 6:10 – 7:30 p.m.
Multi-Faith Centre, Room 207

Engage in a discussion about immigration, refugee sponsorship and what it means to be hospitable in Canadian civil society.


U of T Entrepreneurship Week True Blue Expo

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Thursday, March 21, 2019
All-day event

MaRS Discovery District
101 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7


U of T Entrepreneurship is gearing up for the True Blue Expo – the U of T’s largest entrepreneurship showcase of the year. With 60+ startups exhibiting from across our three campuses and our top startups competing for $50K in the RBC Prize for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the True Blue Expo is an unparalleled opportunity to experience entrepreneurship at U of T.

Attend this March 21, 2019 all-day event at MaRS to:

  • Meet 60+ cutting edge U of T startups and learn about their innovations
  • Learn about U of T’s rich ecosystem of 10 specialized incubators
  • Watch 10 top U of T startups pitch for prizes at the 2019 RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Network with our community at the RBC Prize Awards Reception

Last Chance to Participate in a b2B Career Workshop – CCR Certified activity


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Dear students,

The Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) program will be holding its last b2B Career Workshop for the academic year on April 1st.

If you haven’t attended a b2B Career Workshop (previously offered in September & November 2018), please register for this upcoming workshop, as this will be your last chance to complete the b2B Career Workshop criteria for getting b2B listed on your 2018-19 Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

Workshop: Staying Connected Through b2B
Learn how to stay connected to the alumni you’ve met at b2B events and through the b2B LinkedIn group. Hear how to reach out and grow your network. Learn specific techniques for expanding your understanding of where your degree could take you in the future. Learn how you can use Ten Thousand Coffees and U of T’s Career Navigator tool to your advantage.

Monday April 1st

Sid Smith Hall – SS 1071

Register for this workshop at: https://alumni.artsci.utoronto.ca/event/b2b-staying-connected-workshop/

Workshop spaces are limited, so please register soon!

Thank you,

Arts & Science Alumni Relations



 A Public Lecture on Affective AI and its Applications

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Dear Students,

Fields-Centre for Quantitative Analysis and Modelling, the newest centre at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, will be hosting a public lecture by Prof. Kang Lee from the University of Toronto, as part of the Fields’ 2019 Thematic Program (http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/activities/18-19/fields-cqam-interdisciplinary)  on Affective AI and its Applications.

For more information, please see this communication: Kang Lee – Public Lecture on AI

Applications open for faculty and student positions at Perimeter

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Dear Students,

Perimeter is currently accepting applications for our fully-funded Master’s program, as well as faculty positions and fellowships!

Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMH03

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Logo: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMH13

Available Faculty Positions and Fellowships

Last year, Perimeter Institute was voted by its employees as one of the top Canadian workplaces: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMH23 for its inspiring, healthy, and family-focused environment. If you or anyone you know is looking for a position or student opportunity, we are currently accepting applications for a number of openings. For position details and application deadlines, see individual career postings below:


– Postdoctoral Fellowships: Pioneering the Future of Radio Astronomy: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMH33

– Simons Emmy Noether Visiting Fellows Program: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMH43

Student Opportunities

– Perimeter Scholars International – Graduate Program

– Undergraduate Summer School – Two weeks (fully-funded)

– Summer Undergraduate Research Internship (paid)

Faculty Positions

– Faculty positions in quantum information science

– Tenure-track assistant professor and associate faculty in theoretical high energy physics – McMaster University and Perimeter Institute

– Visiting Researchers – Sabbatical Program

Past Conferences

Perimeter Institute held 19 scientific conferences in 2018: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMHc3
See some of the video archives below and don’t miss our upcoming conferences.

– Higher Algebra and Mathematical Physics
https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMHf3– Foundations of

-Quantum Mechanics

– Low Energy Challenges for High Energy Physicists 3

– Path to Kilohertz Gravitational-Wave Astronomy

– Asymptotic Safety in a Dark Universe

– Searching for new Particles with Black Hole Superradiance

– Algorithmic Information, Induction and Observers in Physics

– Observers in Quantum and Foil Theories

– Gauge Theory, Geometric Langlands and Vertex Operator Algebras

For more videos visit Perimeter Institute’s Recorded Seminar Archive

Inside the Perimeter

As another year draws to a close, take a look at some of the year’s top news: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMHr3 in Perimeter science, outreach, partnerships, and more.

The latest issue of Inside the Perimeter Magazine: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMHs3

– Dives into the quandary at the heart of quantum physics, and profiles some recent advances in the field
– Discusses some of the challenges facing women and other minorities in physics, and explores avenues to correct the imbalance
– Brings updates from Perimeter’s Outreach efforts

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

31 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 2Y5, Canada


Charitable Registration No. 889814323 RR0001

Perimeter Institute Privacy Policy: https://landing.perimeterinstitute.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbks-0XW7yttbg60V5XzW878rdS81RLyWW78Lykx98zjDtf1CYJMHv3

Get help with Math at Victoria College!

Note: This message was copied from an e-mailed communication

Dear Students,

You can get help with Math at Victoria College.

Vic Peer Tutors for: MAT135H, MAT136H, MAT137Y
Provided by the Victoria College Registrar’s Office – open to all students in the Faculty of Arts & Science
Get help with concepts and textbook questions!
Tutoring runs January 14-April 5; see the tutoring schedule at http://uoft.me/VicTutorial

Please see this poster for more information: Student Vic Tutorial Services – 2018-19

It’s All About Math Club Volunteer Hours – a CCR recognized activity

Note:  This message was copied from an e-mailed communication

Dear Students,

The Math Outreach Office at the Department of Mathematics at University of Toronto is focused on mathematics and math education; we strive to improve students’ skills and abilities in math through fun, interactive, and engaging topics and activities. We connect undergraduate and graduate students to various volunteering and paid opportunities which focus around math education, this includes running workshops on-campus for local grade school students, to after-school workshops based on student’s fearful attitudes towards mathematics, and much more.

The Math Outreach office works alongside a student run UTSU recognized club: The It’s All About Math Club. The IAAMC also runs events in partnership with OISE to improve elementary school teacher candidates learning and teaching of math. All volunteer hours done through IAAMC are flexible to fit your schedule, and will be CCR recognized as well. If you are interested in subscribing to our e-mailing list and learning more about all the opportunities we have, please visit our website at http://iaamuoft.wixsite.com/iaamuoft/join-us or email us at iaam...@gmail.com.

Best of luck to you in all your studies. We look forward to seeing you around the Math Department, and at our future events and programs!




Kyle Tran & Rownak Tabassum                                            Supreet Randhawa

Co – Presidents                                                                    Outreach Officer

It’s All About Math Club                                                       Department of Mathematics

U of T jumps three spots to place 12th in world for grad. employability

Note:  This message was copied from UofT news: UofT News Article

The University of Toronto is among the best universities in the world for graduate employability, a new independent study says.

U of T jumped three spots to place 12th in the world in the 2019 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, after jumping four spots in last year’s study, from 19th to 15th. Once again it was the highest-ranked university in Canada.

As well, U of T placed third among North American public universities and eighth among public universities worldwide.

“We are proud to be recognized once again among the top universities for employability,” says U of T President Meric Gertler. “This result reaffirms the excellence of a University of Toronto education, which is highly valued by employers around the world.”

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings cover more than 500 universities in its annual report.

London-based Quacquarelli Symonds Limited uses five weighted criteria in the ranking. The reputation of universities among employers counts for the most in the ranking, and is measured by the QS Employer Survey, with more than 30,000 responses. The other indicators are research collaborations with global companies, an analysis of high-achievers’ alma maters, the number of employers who have an active presence on campus and the graduate employment rate one year after graduation.

The other Canadian universities in the top 100 are the University of Waterloo (25th), the University of British Columbia (38), the University of Alberta (87) and McMaster University (93).

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology claimed the No. 1 spot this year, ahead of last year’s top-rated university, Stanford, and current No. 3, the University of California, Los Angeles.

It’s another strong result for U of T, which is the highest rated university in Canada and among the best public universities in the world in the five most prestigious international rankings: Times Higher Education, the QS World University RankingsShanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking and the National Taiwan University Ranking.

Project Universal Minds – A CCR Certified Activity

Note:  This message was copied from an e-mailed communication


Join Project: Universal Minds and VOLUNTEER to be a TUTOR for a high school student in the subject of your choice (Math, Science or English)! Commitment is an hour a week and is CCR CERTIFIED! For more info, come by our ASSU office (SS1068) or download the application form at: http://assu.ca/get-involved/projectuniversal-minds/

Thank you!

Writing Support in FAS

Note:  This message was copied from an e-mailed communication

Dear Students,

1. You can find information about college writing centres at: http://writing.utoronto.ca/writing-centres/arts-and-science/. The teaching approach of the college writing centres is described at: http://writing.utoronto.ca/writing-centres/learning/.

2. The home page for the website “Writing at the University of Toronto” is http://writing.utoronto.ca. You can use the navigation bar or the search function to find the relevant pages.
3. Writing Plus workshop series are described at: http://writing.utoronto.ca/writing-plus/. A flyer for this series is attached here: Writing Plus

4. Information about the English Language Learning program (ELL) is available at: http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/advising/ell. The following activities can be of particular interest to you:
  • The Communication Cafe, which meets weekly at five different times and locations for the first seven weeks of each term for practice with oral skills like class discussion and presentations
  • Reading eWriting, an online program that helps students engage course readings more effectively.  You can also find further instructional advice files on this site. For more information, please contact the ELL Coordinator Leora Freedman at: leora.freedman@utoronto.ca

Career Corner – Links to Articles on Building your Career

Please note that the comments in the article(s) are the opinions of the authors.

  1. Four things recruiters look for to size up candidates

U of T makes gains on list of universities with best global reputations

Note:  This message was copied from U of T News

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As the University of Toronto’s Class of 2018 prepares to graduate, they can take pride in knowing their degree is from a university with one of the best reputations in the world.

Today, U of T placed 22nd in the world – and first in Canada – in an influential ranking of the world’s top 100 most powerful university brands. That’s two spots higher than last year on the list published by Times Higher Education (THE).

U of T ranked even higher at 11th among the top publicly funded universities in the world, tied with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich).

“This is more wonderful news for all of us at the University of Toronto,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “It is a remarkable accomplishment once again to be recognized in the top tier of the world’s best public and private universities.

“Our international reputation is built on the efforts of our faculty, staff and students – those efforts propel our world-class performance in teaching and the global impact of our research.”

Three Canadian universities were in the top 50 and all made gains in their placements this year, THE noted in a news release. The University of Toronto was followed by the University of British Columbia at 38 (up from 40) and McGill University at 41 (up from 42).

THE compiles its Top 100 global university brands from a survey of more than 10,000 senior academics around the world.

American universities continue to dominate the list, with 44 institutions in the Top 100. Harvard University is again in the top spot for the eighth consecutive year, followed by MIT and Stanford University.

“What is particularly striking is that the U.S. has actually strengthened its position…despite fears that the U.S. is suffering a ‘Trump slump’ in terms of its global reputation,” said Phil Baty, THE’s editorial director of global rankings, in a news release.

He also noted Chinese universities, which have advanced up the rankings strongly in recent years, appear to be stalling. China’s top universities – Tsinghua University and Peking University – stayed put at 14th and 17th, respectively, while other “stars from mainland China have slipped,” THE said.

“This new data shows just how hard it is for emerging powers to break into the traditional global elite,” Baty said.

In addition, for the first time in seven years, India has cracked the Top 100 with the Indian Institute of Science landing in the 91-100 band.

Overall, the University of Toronto continues to be the highest ranked Canadian university and one of the top ranked public universities in the five most prestigious international rankings: Times Higher Education, QS World Rankings, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, U.S. News Best Global Universities and National Taiwan University.

U of T researchers win prestigious NSERC awards

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The federal government is honouring two University of Toronto researchers in Ottawa today for their efforts to push the boundaries of human knowledge in the fields of chemistry and mathematics.

University Professor Lewis Kay is receiving the 2018 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal – the country’s highest honour for science and engineering – for his role in improving nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, the technology used to capture images of proteins within human cells.

Mathematics Professor Joel Kamnitzer is receiving a prestigious E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship to support his work exploring symmetry in mathematics and physics.

Kay, who is appointed to U of T’s departments of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular genetics and is a senior scientist at SickKids hospital, is the first U of T Herzberg winner since 2012 when University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cook was honoured for his work in computer science and mathematics.

Recent U of T Steacie fellowship winners include Associate Professor Raquel Urtasun, Professor Stephen Wright, Professor David Sinton, Professor Leah Cowen, Professor Aaron Wheeler and Professor Wei Yu.

“U of T is proud of the achievements of Professors Kay and Kamnitzer in the pursuit of advancing our understanding of how the natural universe operates, from the beginnings of disease to new advancements in mathematics,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation.

“We’re also grateful for the continuing support from the Government of Canada for basic, fundamental research that we know leads to transformational practical applications and that ignites curiosity in future generations.”

The Herzberg award, worth up to $1 million over the next five years, is for Kay’s “truly impressive technical breakthroughs” that allow us to “watch the smallest building blocks of life as they move, change and interact with one another over time,” the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) said in a news release.

His methodologies have had impacts for physicists and mathematicians, and his technologies are used in biochemistry and molecular biology labs around the world, setting the stage for breakthrough discoveries, NSERC said.

Read about Lewis Kay in the Globe and Mail

In the world of mathematics, Kamnitzer’s reputation is growing for his work in representation theory.

“It’s nice to get recognition for my work, especially since people outside of mathematics don’t always understand what we do,” he said.

A typical day for him, he said, can involve hanging out at a local coffee shop and writing out complex mathematical equations in a notebook when his blackboard is not handy, writing papers, teaching or Skyping with colleagues around the globe – think Russia and Japan – who are also pondering the symmetries of objects and their rotations.

For example, picture a sphere floating in the air. It can rotate in any direction, at any angle and in any order. The collection of all these possible rotations is a Lie group.

Lie groups also appear as symmetries of elementary particles, such as electrons and protons. The different particles and their many states come in patterns predicted by representations of Lie groups.

Mathematicians like Kamnitzer are involved in the cutting edge of supersymmetric quantum field theories, which predict surprising relationships between different geometric objects related to Lie groups.

His work seeks to understand these predictions and use them to solve important mathematical problems. It also contributes to finding the correct mathematical framework for theoretical physics.

With his Steacie, Kamnitzer will be able to take a two-year sabbatical to deep dive into his research, as well as use $250,000 in grant money to hire students and postdoctoral researchers, and travel to meet with other leading experts in the field.

Grad School Q&A

Note: This is copied from an email communication

March 26, 2018

Graduate School Application Roundtable Talk


  • These responses are the opinions of the participating panel.
  • These notes from the Information Session, were captured Lilly, an undergraduate student.

Q: How long in advance should we start preparing for grad school applications?

Usually, you should submit applications in before the December deadline of the current year to apply for graduate school that starts September of the following year.

Q: What are the weights on GRE, reference letters, CGPA, personal statement in terms of admission?

  • GRE
  • Not required for Canadian schools (does not matter whether you have it or not)
  • Required for US schools (depending on which school you are applying to. Some schools care more but some schools care less.)


  • Reference letter
  • Important


  • CGPA
  • The most important component
  • Not only the grades matters, but also what courses you took
  • There’s no cut-off grades, but better be grades for important math courses
  • Only math courses will be looked at (doesn’t really matter if you fail a physics class)
  • Usually they would look at the 10 most advanced math courses on your transcript and drop the lowest two


  • Personal statement
  • If you prepare a generic statement then it becomes the least important component
  • Shouldn’t be more than 1 page unless there are stories that are very interesting
  • Make sure there’s no spelling or other grammatical mistakes
  • Becomes very relevant when there’s something special about your story (e.g. had 5 years gap during undergrad; already had a PHD in physics and now want to do another PHD in math, etc…)
  • Very important if the school you are applying to allows the future supervisor to make the decision

Q: How useful would doing research be in terms of applying for grad school?

It is a plus, but not a necessary thing. Math is a very specialized discipline, so it is very rare to see undergrads doing serious research. But if you can win the USRA award, then definitely include it in your application.


Q: How does one find research opportunities in undergraduate?

Walk around the department, knock on doors, ask professors, “Do you have a summer project?” or “Could you supervise me in a reading course?” Usually it is comparatively difficult to become engaged in research opportunities in the Department of Mathematics. You should take the time to review the research interest of the professor that you would like to work with.  You may also have conversations with your professors after class, and talk about interesting questions related to the course material and introduce interesting topics that you would want to explore further.


Q: How useful would math competitions be in terms of applying for grad school?

Similar to research, it is a plus, but not a necessary thing. They are looking for your strengths, not a fulfilling a check list. It’s fine for not having research or competitions results.


Q: Is it encouraged to do PHD at another school?

It is recommended because by doing so you will be seeing other perspectives, learning more cultures etc. However, if you have a good personal reason to stay here (e.g. because your families are here etc.), it is also good to stay.


Q: Should we apply for master first or apply for Ph D directly?

  • In US: apply for the Ph D directly
  • In Canada: usually you should apply for masters first, and when you get admitted, you will also be admitted to the Ph D program automatically (conditional offer)

Some countries offer 3 years Ph D programs (e.g. some universities in UK), but there are also some countries that offer 1 year master + 5 years PHD programs.

  • the longer may be the better
  • when applying for post doc, what matters is not how long you’ve been studying math since elementary school, but how many years you have studied since PHD. So you may have some disadvantages by taking the “fast lane”


Q: About applying for grad school and stating a particular professor that you would like to work with?

Make sure that the prof you are aiming for is actually working there. Sometimes their names may be listed as faculty members, but they are not actually permanently employed at that institution.


Q: If I want to do grad school for applied math (e.g. finance or physics). During undergrad, should I take more applied courses or should I take more pure math courses?

For most applied programs, the process of admission could be very different comparing to math programs. For some applied programs, you may even need to contact your potential supervisor because quite often the decision is made by them.


Q: Are there any advantages for taking most advanced math course (e.g. MAT157, 257, 357)?

Specialists have many advantages comparing to math majors. In the reference letters details are usually provided about the content of the courses as it is here that the applicant’s university will learn of the strength of the applicant.


Q: Does a 4th year statistic student still have chance to get into grad school for math?

What’s important is which courses you have taken. As long as you have all the necessary courses (algebra, analysis, topology), then it is possible.


Q: What are the necessary courses?

MAT327H1    Introduction to Topology

MAT347Y1    Groups, Rings and Fields

MAT354H1    Complex Analysis I

MAT357H1    Foundations of Real Analysis

MAT457H1    Advanced Real Analysis I

APM421H1    Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics


Q: How to explore interests?

  • Take courses
  • Talk to professors and students
  • Be involved

It is actually harmful to decide too early, which field of mathematics you want to study. If you decide too early, you are sort of preventing yourself from exploring your true self.


Be ready to get rejection letters and do not be too offended when you get a few rejection letters.